Jurgen Klopp has stressed that he is “not happy” with Adam Lallana‘s red card for the Liverpool U23s on Monday, but has sided with the midfielder.
Lallana was given his marching orders after reacting to a series of strong challenges by grabbing Tottenham midfielder George Marsh by the neck.
After being dragged away by Danny Ings, the 29-year-old left the field and left the U23s a man down as they fell to a 1-0 defeat in Stevenage.
This proved a major dampener on a night that saw Lallana start in a bid to regain match fitness and reclaim his first-team spot.
But Klopp has insisted that while he was “not happy” with the situation it will not affect his plans as he prepares Liverpool for a trip to Southampton on Sunday.
“We wanted him—Alberto Moreno as well but he had a little problem [that kept him out]—to have match time,” he told reporters at Melwood.
“He had 60 minutes. It’s not nice, I spoke to him, it’s now how it should be.
“He’s not happy about it, but I understand why it happened. That’s what I thought in the first moment: it wasn’t the first challenge [on Lallana].
“Adam is not happy about the reaction, as I was not happy about it, but it doesn’t change my mind about Adam.
“He is on the way back, that’s how it is again. We will not rush it, for sure.
“He’s for sure an option for the squad [at Southampton], if he’s an option for the first 11 I would rather think not.
“But I can sleep twice before we play, so maybe I will change my mind. He’s in really good shape, fresh, looks quick, but [setbacks] have happened twice.
“Hopefully [there are] around about 18, 19, 20 games to go for us, and that’s enough for him as well.”
Klopp will have close to a full squad to select from at St. Mary’s, with only Nathaniel Clyne (back) and Joe Gomez (knee) definitely ruled out as Moreno and Ragnar Klavan bid for places.